The Zammit Tabona Family have always had a passion for gastronomy and hospitality; Relais & Chateaux in fact has been their natural brand choice for The Xara Palace affiliation as both brands share the same passion. The continuous work and focus on quality cuisine showcasing local produce from handpicked suppliers coupled with unique dining experience have won the whole team the long-awaited Michelin star for the flagship restaurant namely De Mondion. The family firmly believes that sustainability is all about creating a legacy for the future generations.
The driving force of Justin Zammit Tabona, Owner and Director for the Xara Collection towards sustainability, coupled with the knowledge and community building experience of the young farmers namely Cane and Cassandra gave birth to the Xara Gardens. The vision for The Xara Gardens is primarily to produce tasteful and healthy home-grown food using natural and sustainable methods ranging from Regenerative farming to waste food recycled and converted into new crops through aquaponics. This is a pioneering and bold project for the Xara Collection, a project that allows for another important pillar for the Xara Gardens, that is education. Through sharing the knowledge gathered throughout this learning journey, the group looks at starting the education internally in order for all the valued members of the team to fully understand and embrace the loop that is being created from food growth to food waste disposal to new food growth, with no greenhouse emissions in the process. On a wider scale the group aims to assist stakeholders and colleagues not limited to Hospitality alone to adopt all or some of the sustainability practices within their premises. The long-term vision is to also be instrumental in helping create sustainable farmers of the future by attracting a younger demographic to the farming industry.
Once fully scaled, the Xara Gardens with the Regenerative farming expertise of Cane Vella and the aquaponics and multitrophic farming developed by sustainability innovator Michael Bourne, will grow vegetables and culinary herbs, be home to an orchard, a snail farm, chickens, and a greenhouse to act as our nursery to grow seedlings on-site. The produce from the Gardens, grown through close communication between our gardeners and the chefs will find themselves in the mouth-watering menus served through the various venues within the Xara Collection portfolio, namely, The Xara Lodge, Mediterranean Conference Centre, Trattoria AD 1530, De Mondion Restaurant, the Medina and The Villa in Balluta.
A delegation of the Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association Council, led by MHRA President Tony Zahra and MHRA CEO Andrew Agius Muscat, has recently visited the Xara Gardens sustainability project, to have a better understanding of this pioneering and bold project by Xara Collection, which included a farm to fork tasting experience along with a detailed presentation of the sustainability process of the regenerative farming to waste food recycled, along with a site visit to the new crops through aquaponics.
The Xara Gardens, will provide memorable farm to fork experiences for groups and events, including a tour of the farm, hands-on sustainability education for groups that want to learn about the sustainable practices followed by a sumptuous lunch or dinner. The Xara Collection is fully committed to sustainability, so much so that the group is developing an in-house sustainability strategy under the guidance of Gayle Murphy, director for Global Green Events, a very well-known and experienced sustainability consultant. This will ensure that the respective teams within the group set measurable targets that will further cement the overall vision for sustainability.